Using master alloys by themselves

Hi Everyone,

I’m a student at the University of Vermont studying metalwork and
jewelry. I was wondering if it is possible to use a master alloy by
itself for casting instead of mixing with whatever karat gold one
normally would. I don’t have the money to buy gold or colored gold so
I thought this might be a way to work with colored metal. I wasn’t
sure if it would be structurally sound. Particularly, I am looking at
the red and green master alloys in the Rio catalog.


This is frequently done for student work. You might have to be
careful about which alloys you choose, though. Anyone?



About 20 years ago one part of my job was making a sales line out of
a ‘master alloy’ CZs and nice plating. Miserable stuff to work
with… soft, tended to wick up solder, and turned my fingers green
(far more so than copper brass, and bronze. Another consideration is
that the coloured alloys depend on the gold for the final colour,
they aren’t coloured. A red alloy is mainly copper, green mainly
silver, and both probably have small amounts of zinc and a few trace
metals to enhance the final alloys intended use. Probably won’t give
the results you want but probably won’t kill you either :slight_smile: The stuff
is not expensive, buy a few ounces of each and experiment. Asking
questions first is always a good idea but my most permanent learning
came from first hand experience and experiments I lived through.

Demand Designs
Analog/Digital Modelling & Goldsmithing

jeff, i’ m afraid you’ll be better off just buying sheet coper and
nickel and using them rather than buying the alloys as they are just
designed to turn fine/plumb gold and silver into karated,and
coloured gold…to acheive this one adds various proportions of
copper and nickel, and some trace elements, and in the case of some
golds, silver. ( unless you get specialized…) so get the book from a
library “Jewelers Bench Reference”, by Harold O’Connor, and buy some
sheet copper and nickel and if you like silicates, (but generally
unneccessary for your purposes. ) and the book gives you the correct
proportions to make the alloys that are pre-combined for you in Rio,
or a host of other manufacturers master alloys…

But Better yet, if you want the look, feel and non-tarnishing
capabilities of a good working cheap alloy Hoover and Strong makes
one called Tigold. It is generally used by sample makers as the
colour is close to 18kt yellow, or some 14kt rich yellow colours, it
doesn’t tarnish for years if kept airtight, or semi-climate
controlled (versatile stuff!) ands costs les than silver ( at least
it did last time I bought any. ) it also requires the use of
“additive b”, which they recommend using far too much of to get
colours closer to antique golds, and rich yellow or peach-y
tones…use about half of their recomended amount unless you like the
“rose/pink” gold look and the amount called for if you desire “red”
gold as described by O’Connor… Tigold costs something like 12 bucks
an oz, and the additive is 8 bucks or so an oz but one oz goes into
8oz’s if used as recommended ( which for me is way too red and tends
to tarnish in two years due to the copper content of the additive -
which just has some deoxidants added for mechanized casting
operations!)…so for the cost of an ounce and a half of fine silver
you get a product that yields the look and characteristics of
karated gold at a fraction of the cost, and is far superior to
casting alloys on the market due to the Tigold formula sans additive
B…in fact you could probably call Hoover and Strong and ask for
Stewart Grice and ask if you can use the TiGold without the additive
for the specific type casting you are doing. I know for steam,
direct, cuttlefish,delft clay and centrifugal ( swing it over your
head style) casting, it looks brilliant without the “…additive B”…

R. E. R.

so get the book from a library "Jewelrs Bench Reference", by Harold

If you decide to buy this book, do NOT buy it from Amazon, it costs
$89.97 from them, whereas Otto Frei have the very same book for
$13.95! Rather a big discrepancy.


I just bought some TiGold from Hoover and Strong - lots cheaper then

$4.60 per oz for Tigold casting grain, and $5.10 per oz for Additive